Author and activist Alicia Garza leads a life of purpose, responsibility, and advocacy. Teaming up with SOREL, we're sharing the everyday essentials that help power her through her day.
Even if by chance you don't know Alicia Garza's name (yet), you know her hashtag. The civil rights activist and writer not only cofounded the Black Lives Matter movement, she wrote the slogan. "I continue to be surprised at how little Black lives matter. . . Our lives matter," she wrote in 2013 after George Zimmerman's murder acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin. And while Black Lives Matter is now a global network and influential movement, it wasn't Alicia's first taste of activism, and it hasn't been her last — not by a long shot.
"I've been stepping forward since I was 12 years old — starting with stepping forward in the movement for reproductive rights and justice, then to the movement for racial and gender justice," Alicia told us over email. "Today, I'm stepping forward to build Black political power through my work with the Black Futures Lab and the Black to the Future Action Fund. I work to make sure that Black communities are powerful in politics, so that we can be powerful in the rest of our lives."
From conducting the largest survey of Black people in America in 155 years to registering thousands of Black people to vote to organizing 60,000 pledges to the Black Agenda, Alicia leads a life of purpose and responsibility. And she feels it's her duty to help others do the same.
"Stepping forward means moving toward our purpose, and working to make the world a better place by taking responsibility for it," Alicia said. "For example, I know this country is not how I want it to be, and the conditions of my communities are not what they should be. So I step forward to close the gap between what we want and what we have."
Alicia considers herself an organizer, a strategist, and a freedom dreamer in addition to being an author, a podcaster, and the Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. But despite her impressive titles, awards, and accomplishments, Alicia feels the most confident and empowered when her community is confident and empowered.
"I'm inspired by everyday people taking action to be the heroes in their own stories," she said. "People who cannot look away from that which is unfair or unjust. People who make it work and find a way when their options are very limited."
In addition to helping others, Alicia also makes sure to take care of herself. Ahead, find the everyday essentials that help power her busy days and make her feel like her best self. To hear more from Alicia, check out The Step, our podcast in partnership with SOREL. Alicia is featured on episode two of season two.